R&D Agenda for Learning from Incidents

I am delighted our paper ‘Research and Development Agenda for Learning from Incidents’ (co-authored with Allison Littlejohn and Neville Stanton) has been accepted for publication in Safety Science.

Get in touch if you’d like a pre-print copy.

Abstract: This paper outlines a research and development agenda for the nascent field of Learning from Incidents (LFI). Effective, deep and lasting learning from incidents is critical for the safety of employees, the general public and environmental protection. The paper is an output of an international seminar series ‘Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Learning from Incidents’ funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in 2013-2016 The seminar series brought together academics, practitioners and policymakers from a range of disciplines and sectors to advance the theory, methodology, organisational practice and policy in LFI. Drawing on a range of disciplinary and sectoral perspectives, as well as on input from practitioners and policymakers, this paper lays out four key research and development challenges: defining LFI; measuring LFI; levels and factors of LFI; and strengthening research-practice nexus in LFI.

Reference (incomplete): Margaryan, A., Littlejohn, A., & Stanton, N. (in press). Research and development agenda for Learning from Incidents. Safety Science.


Learning within crowdwork platforms

My paper on crowdworkers’ learning within microwork and online freelancing platforms has been accepted at Internet, Policy and Politics 2016 Conference organised by Oxford Internet Institute. I’m very much looking forward to the conference.


This paper reports findings of a survey exploring how crowdworkers develop their knowledge and skills in the course of their work on digital platforms. The focus is on informal learning initiated and self-regulated by crowdworkers: engaging in challenging tasks; studying professional literature/online resources; sharing knowledge and collaborating with others. The survey was run within two platforms representing two types of crowdwork – microwork (CrowdFlower) and online freelancing (Upwork). The survey uncovered evidence for considerable individual and social learning activity within both types of crowdwork. Findings suggest that both microwork and online freelancing are learning-intensive and both groups of workers are learning-oriented and self-regulated. Crowdwork is a growing form of employment in developed and developing countries. Improved understanding of learning practices within crowdwork would inform the design of crowdwork platforms; empower crowdworkers to direct their own learning and work; and help platforms, employers, and policymakers enhance the learning potential of crowdwork.


Reference: Margaryan, A. (22 September, 2016). Understanding crowdworkers’ learning practices. Paper presented at Internet, Policy and Politics 2016 Conference, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, UK.  [Online]


New paper: Comparing safety culture and learning culture

Our paper (with Allison Littlejohn and Dane Lukic ) ‘Comparing safety culture and learning culture‘ has been accepted for publication in Risk Management journal (Risk Management (2015) doi:10.1057/rm.2015.2).

Extended abstract: This article examines the alignment of learning and safety culture in organisations. It tests the hypothesis that factors that indicate a good learning culture might also signify good safety and vice versa. The hypothesis was tested through an extensive literature review. Areas of alignment of learning culture and safety culture were identified. Six components of learning culture and safety culture can be measured by the same instrument. These components form guiding principles for measurement of safety culture and learning culture: open communication; employee empowerment; collaboration; alignment of espoused and enacted priorities; internal systemic alignment; management.  Another eight component areas were identified where learning culture and safety culture partially align: motivation; recognition and rewards; competence; commitment; workplace condition; risk; opportunities for learning; and policy and procedures. Four further components were found to be relevant to either safety culture or learning culture and do not align: social regulation; safety versus productivity; equipment; and innovation.  Overall, there is a relationship between learning culture and safety culture, but gauging one does not provide a reliable measure of the other.